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Interpreter of Winds

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by Fairoz Ahmad


Often an unnoticed caress on our faces, winds are voiceless and formless. How do we interpret them? What mysteries can we find in the whispers of winds? From a Dutch occupied Java where a witch was murdered, a dog who desires to be a Muslim, to a day in which all sense of music is lost, the mundane is aflame with the uncanny.

In these stories, Fairoz Ahmad invites you to take a closer look at ordinary objects, as they take on a life of their own and spin gossamer threads. This book is a celebration of the little charms and enchantments of our universes amidst struggles and eventual helplessness.

Read the first pages 

About the Author

Fairoz Ahmad is the co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise, Chapter W. The organisation works at the intersection of women, technology and social impact. For his work with the community, he was awarded the National University of Singapore's Outstanding Young Alumni award. He also lectures in sociology and community development at Temasek Polytechnic. Fairoz recently graduated from the University of Oxford with a Master of Public Policy (Distinction) under the Chevening-Oxford scholarship.

Interpreter of Winds is a reflection of his experiences and observations growing up Muslim in a world too busy, too distracted, to understand one another, and his belief that the magic, wonder and richness of one’s history and culture, together with their quirks and eccentricities, could help narrow this gap in understanding.


"... a quartet of magic-touched stories"
—The Straits Times

"Fairoz Ahmad’s Interpreter of Winds is a brief collection—fewer than ninety pages—yet is vividly representative of how Islam has blossomed into its own rich form across the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia. Ahmad’s magical realism fits well with the Sufism that has a long tradition in Southeast Asia and serves as a useful tool to question some strictures in an indirect and often playful way. Enchanting and fun, Interpreter of Winds is wonderful reminder of diversity of thought and imagery that abounds across the Muslim world."
Asian Review of Books

"In a world where we are (sadly) divided by religion and united by our bitterness towards it all, these stories are an invigorating read. This short collection is a remarkable attempt to interpret faith and capture its challenges."

About the orbit series

What worlds live beyond ourselves? An open path for all kinds of books of impact, orbit by Ethos Books launches fresh and different works that might not meet the conventions of a full-length work in breadth, but whose concerns orbit the heart of being and can stand as they are. Affordable and coming in a handy physical format, books in the orbit series seek to travel. Reads that seem small in size but will knock your socks off in the span of a train ride; orbit is a setting off and a returning home. Books that are tiny portals to meaning—for yourself, and to all around us. 

• • •

ISBN: 978-981-11-9444-3
Published: 2019
Dimension: 115mm x 170mm  
Extent: 104
Finish: Paperback



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